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Sebastiano Ricci

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Sebastiano Ricci
18th-century Venetian
(Belluno, Italy, 1659 - 1734, Venice, Italy)

Ricci inaugurated the second great age of the Venetian school. Trained in Bologna, Parma, and Rome, he absorbed the full range of late Baroque classicism. Back in Venice by 1700, he consulted Luca Giordano’s recent examples of a more vital, eclectic style, and above all referred to Veronese’s grand reconciliation of painterly values and systematic decoration. The resulting style is synthetic, but with the classical component deeply assimilated, the optical component enhanced through stunning color, and the paint handling personalized with sensuous brushwork. This style seems so radiant, so fluent, that it is easy to forget its intellectual foundation and critical historical role: Ricci also worked in London and Paris (1712-16), influenced Central European painting, and trained many of the next generation in Venice.

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